Ole Miss, MSU to hold minority vendor job fair as part of IHL outreach program
Ole Miss and Mississippi State will hold a minority vendor fair June 18 in Oxford.
Minority Business Expo: Making The University Connection begins at 1 p.m. in the Jackson Avenue Center Multipurpose Room near the Ole Miss campus. Online registration is available through www.Where2Go411.com and early registration is encouraged.
The event is the part of the IHL’s push to increase the number of minority-owned businesses that land the agency’s contracts.
Other institutions expects participating in the initiative include Alcorn State University, Delta State University, Jackson State University, Mississippi University for Women, Mississippi Valley State University and the University of Southern Mississippi.
IHL has contracted with Where2Go411.com, a Web-based platform that connects vendors to buyers through its quote feature. Minority companies post information about their business and the goods and services they provide. Universities send and receive quotes, proposals and subcontracting opportunities through the online system. This benefits minority businesses with awareness of opportunities and enables them to respond using the website’s easy-to-use method.
While any business can be listed on the site, minority businesses are recruited for inclusion in the featured listing section, which provides access to the quote, RFP, subcontracting opportunity solicitations.
Procurement officers at each of Mississippi’s public universities have been trained how to post opportunities to the site and retrieve quotes and information from the vendors.
“MSU is constantly seeking out new suppliers so we can expand the number of companies participating in the public procurement process,” said Don Buffum, MSU director of procurement and contracts. “We do this by urging departments to seek additional quotes or to try new vendors, actively seeking out new vendors at trade shows, conducting ‘Doing Business With MSU’ seminars, and by maintaining an open-door policy to meet with new vendors.
“Co-hosting the minority vendor fair with Ole Miss on June 18 provides us a great opportunity to implement all those strategies in a single venue,” Buffum continued. “By locating small and minority vendors, we are able to provide our departments with more potential sources while also making a valuable contribution to the economy.”